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Ian Hudghton
Scottish National Party
Member of the European Parliament

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Press Releases
13 November
Hudghton talks up Scotland's Business Tourism role

SNP Member of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton says Scots need to grasp every opportunity to encourage business and conference “tourists” to Scotland.   The MEP sets out his views in a letter sent to VisitScotland this week.  In his letter, Mr Hudghton commends the agency for staging an event in Brussels later this month designed to promote Scotland as a conference and business destination.  The event on 27 November, will allow business leaders in the Belgian capital to “Meet the Cities” of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, the “key conference cities” of Scotland to see what they can offer business visitors.

Commenting on the event, Mr Hudghton says there are massive opportunities to expand Scotland’s potential as a venue for the conference and business market.  This month’s promotion should be viewed as a positive step towards securing Scotland’s place on the business map.  In his letter to VisitScotland Mr Hudghton urges the agency to go a step further and ensure that the whole of Scotland, rather than just the three cities on show at the Brussels meeting, get a share of the market.  Speaking from his office in Brussels today, the nationalist MEP said:

“I have written to VisitScotland commending them on their decision to stage this business tourism showcase in Brussels.  VisitScotland acknowledges that Brussels is Europe’s nerve-centre for international businesses and organisations.  Their achievement in bringing Scotland to the very heart of the European business market deserves everyone’s full support.

“Scotland has massive potential as a destination for conferences and major business events and I wish the delegations from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow every success in promoting themselves to the Brussels business community.  I am nonetheless keen to ensure that efforts are also made to publicise what the rest of Scotland can offer.  The cities of Dundee, Inverness and Stirling, as well as many of our smaller towns, can and regularly do play host to conferences and need to get our full backing too.

“We can also boast of facilities catering for those who want to mix a bit of leisure with business.  Conference facilities on offer, for example, at our world famous championship golf course hotels fit that bill and businesses would, I’m sure be interested to know about them too.  We need to paint as detailed a picture of Scotland’s diverse facilities and locations as we can.  Our ability to tailor-make a package to suit all, from vibrant city to stylish golfing and leisure centre is a strong selling point.  While we want to showcase our cities, we also need to be able to cater for business people who would welcome the chance to get out of the hustle and bustle of urban life.  We are lucky to have such a diverse range to offer the business traveller and must grasp every opportunity to show that Scotland has the venues and facilities to suit everyone.”

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